Orange County VA clinic begins vaccinating veterans for COVID-19

Veterans lined up at the VA Medical Center in Lake Nona for the COVID-19 vaccine. 95 year old World War II veteran, Henry Prehal, and his son Bruce, getting their shots, Saturday morning.

"I realize I needed something like that," Henry said.

Bruce recommends that everybody should.

"Yeah, I think it's a great idea. I always get the flu shot, and I haven't gotten the flu in years. I can't remember the last time I got the flu."

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The Pfizer vaccines were available by appointment but walk-ins were also welcome. Patients had to be 75-years-of age or older, they also had to be enrolled and eligible for VA health benefits. This was the first Saturday that they'd been administering the shots.

"It's really worked out extremely well, so far. Yesterday, we did almost 1,400 vaccinations and that was during the week, during our workweek," said Timothy Cooke, VA Medical Center director, "today, we're focusing solely on vaccinations."

Anyone who got the shot had to come back in 21 days for the second dose. As of Friday, 225 people were registered to show up for the shot on Saturday. They were hoping to give out 1,000 doses of the vaccine.

"We make sure they're okay to get the shot, then we administer the shot, complete the documentation, escort them to the waiting area," explained Scott Wassmer, RN, with the hospital’s Emergency Management Service.

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"They were so completely organized and every single one of them was extremely nice, and helpful. I could not believe how well it went," said Richard Grossman, a US Army veteran.

All the local VA clinics are now giving COVID-19 shots to enrolled veterans age 75 and older. Hospital officials said that as they get more supplies of the vaccine, they'll expand the scope of eligibility for veterans who are able to get the shots.

The event runs through 4 p.m. at 13800 Veterans Way in Orlando.

Watch FOX 35 News for the latest on the COVID-19 vaccine.